If there’s such a thing as “instant Indian”, this is the book for it!
Madhur Jaffrey, revered as the queen of Indian cooking, shares recipes for everything from butter chicken to dal makhni – all made in the Instant Pot. These recipes are from the book Madhur Jaffrey’s Instantly Indian Cookbook published by Knopf, $29
Gujarati Hot, Sweet and Sour Red Kidney Beans
1-1/2 cups dried red kidney beans
3 tbsp peanut or olive oil
1/8 tsp ground asafoetida
1/2 tsp black or brown mustard seeds
1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds
2 dried hot red chilies
10-15 fresh curry leaves
1 cup peeled and finely chopped tomatoes, fresh or canned
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1-2 fresh hot green chilies, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed to a pulp
1 tsp peeled, fresh ginger grated to a pulp
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
Wash the beans and soak overnight in water that covers them generously. Drain the next day, just before cooking.
Select the Sauté setting on your Instant Pot and set to More for 30 mins. When the screen says Hot, add oil, put in the asafoetida, the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and the red chilies.
Stir until the mustard seeds pop and the chilies darken.
Add the curry leaves. They will splatter, so stand back.
Stir once and add the tomatoes, turmeric, coriander, cumin, green chilies, garlic and ginger. Stir and cook for 2-3 mins.
Add the sugar and salt. Stir and cook another min. Add the drained beans and 3-1/2 cups water. Hit Cancel to reset the cooking program.
Close and seal the lid. Cook at High Pressure for 30 mins and let the pressure drop naturally. Hit Cancel again. Open the lid carefully, venting the steam away from you.
Select the Sauté setting and set to More. You may thicken the sauce by cooking for 3/5 minutes more, stirring as you do so. Remember, the sauce will also thicken a bit as it sits.
Chicken in a Yoghurt Sauce
2 lbs boned and skinned chicken thighs, most blobs of fat removed, cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces
Freshly ground pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 - 1 tsp chili powder
1 3-inch piece peeled fresh ginger, chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 green bird’s eye chilies
2 tbsp chickpea flour
1 cup plain yoghurt, the sourer the better
3/4 tsp ground turmeric
4 tbsp peanut or olive oil
15-20 fresh curry leaves
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 tsp My Garam Masala*
Sprinkle the chicken pieces evenly on both sides with 1 tsp salt, lots of black pepper, the cumin, coriander and chili powder. Mix well, put in a bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight or at least for an hour.
Put the ginger, garlic, green chilies, and about 6 tbsp water in a blender and blend to a paste, pushing down with a spatula as needed. Scrape out the paste and put in a bowl. Set aside.
Put the chickpea flour in another bowl. Slowly add 1 cup water, a tsp at a time, mixing with a whisk until you have a very smooth, lumpless paste. Now whisk in the yoghurt, turmeric, and 1/2 tsp salt. Set aside.
Select the Sauté setting on your Instant Pot and set to More. When the screen says Hot, swirl in the oil. Wait a few seconds and put in the curry leaves. They will splatter, stand back. Immediately add the ginger-garlic paste.
Turn heat to Normal. Stir and sauté for 2-3 mins, sprinkling a little water into the pot if seasonings start to stick.
Add the chicken. Keep stirring for another 2 mins. again sprinkling in a little water if anything seems to catch. Now add 1 cup water, cilantro and garam masala. Stir to mix.
Hit Cancel to reset the cooking program. Close and seal the lid and cook on Low Pressure for 1 minute. Release the pressure manually. Take off the lid carefully, venting the steam away from you. Select the Sauté setting and set to More. Stir the yoghurt mixture and pour it in. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 mins, stirring now and then, or until the sauce thickens. Turn the Instant Pot Off or set to Keep Warm as needed.
My Garam Masala
1 tbsp cardamom seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp black cumin (also called shah jeera)
1 tsp whole cloves
1 2-inch stick of cinnamon, broken up
1/2 whole nutmeg seeds (just hit the seed with a hammer)
Put all the spices into the container of a clean coffee grinder or spice grinder and grind as finely as possible. Store the mixture in a jar with a tight lid, away from dampness and light. It should last several months.